Document Review is finally live for Freshmen and Sophomores using Handshake! This is a really great feature that our office is hoping to use toward improving current student resumes and, further down the road, the overall strength of Emerson’s applications to jobs and internships. (In short: It’s a neat way of providing you consistent support outside of an in-person appointment.

But What Is It?

Document Review is a feature that works mostly behind the scenes but here’s the basic rundown: Our office is notified any time a current Freshman or Sophomore submits their resume to a position or uploads a new document to their profile. We’ll begin reviewing these documents as they come in so, ideally, our feedback will increase the strength of a resume being used for open positions.

Anyone whose documents have been reviewed will receive an email from one of our Peer Career Advisors, notifying them of the feedback and recommending next steps. Users are able to check the status of an uploaded document by heading to their Handshake profile and checking the “Documents” section picture below.

This should not alarm anyone — this process does not delay the speed of a resume being sent off and should not impact any active applications you have open. Instead, it’s meant to be a quick way of giving you advice you may not have realized you needed. If you’re worried about the current state of your resume, however, I’ve included some pitfalls to avoid below…

Know the Role and Choose Your Words Wisely

One of the worst things you can do as an applicant is ignore the job description. It’s important to read the description with a keen eye regardless of how redundant or familiar it might seem. The more you pay attention to how the job is described or what skills are outlined in the position, the more you can cater your resume and cover letter. Think of it this way: If a recruiter has written this description and has taken the time to identify specific skills for applicants to possess, it means they’re looking for applicants who are able to show these skills and reference them in their application.

Tell it Like it Is

On that same note, if a position makes mention of a specific skill (e.g. Photoshop), then you should definitely have that skill explicitly mentioned on your resume. Here’s a quick secret: For positions where there may be hundreds or thousands of applicants, recruiters will use a database to collect your application. These databases will flag resumes that include certain words or phrases that align with the original job description. If you ignore the job description and fail to mention any of the specific skills a position has outlined, you risk having your resume ignored or buried in the database. Use this information wisely!

Clarity Matters

Think about the position you’re applying to. If the job you’re going for is something artistic or graphic design-based, your employer may be looking for some artistic flair on your resume. If you’re looking to go into a technical job or something less in the creative field, you may want to avoid anything that’s overly stylish. Regardless of what you’re going for, please know when too much is too much. All resumes should be legible, easy to digest, and structured in some way that conveys your experience and skills. Believe me, I know it’s easy to get caught up in having a Resume that stands out – especially in competitive arts fields – but something that’s clear will go further than something that’s convoluted.